Marking highs and lows

Marking highs and lows

The year 2009 saw the highest number of Kannada films releasing which is 120. And the industry incurring a loss of Rs 160 crore, which was also high. But the low success  rate definitely did not weigh the industry down as the year also witnessed some interesting milestones.

The year started with the industry celebrating 75 years of its existence. The Amrutha Mahotsava brought in all the stars together on one platform for a grand three-day celebration, which also saw actors like Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan as guests of honour. With promises of betterment, the year also saw the establishment of the Chalana Chitra Academy and the Goonda Act against piracy of Kannada movies.

From then on, more than a dozen actors, actresses, directors and producers made an entry into Kannada films with hopes and dreams to make their mark and try something different. While many seemed to have enough talent to back them up, there were those who could not face the camera again. Three actors seemed to shine in their already established careers — Umashree, who not only bagged the State Award but also the National Award, for her role in Gulabi Talkies; Shivarajkumar who signed his 100th film Jogaiah, and Vishnuvardhan, who went on to sign his 200th film, Aaptharakshaka.

Movies like Raaj - The Showman, Maleyali Jotheyali and Manasare had huge expectations from the audiences. Of these, only two proved their mark, with Raaj being the highest grosser of the year and Maleyali Jotheyali failing at the box office. A lot of A-lister stars like Shivarajkumar, Darshan, Sudeep, Ganesh had two to three films this year which did not make any impact but Puneeth Rajkumar was the silver lining which the industry was looking for with films like Raaj and Raam.
The industry did not leave its favourite themes like rain and rowdyism from the year's releases as well. It is said that almost 13 per cent of films released this year were based on rowdyism alone. Remakes were also prominent but only films like Veera Madakari, Kannadada Kiran Bedi, Savaari, Raam and Yodha fared well at the box office. The industry proved something different by shooting a film called Sugreeva in 18 hours. Cheluve Ninne Nodalu became the second film in Indian cinema to be shot across the Seven Wonders of the World. 

Controversies also flooded Sandalwood this year. Incidents like the tiff between junior artistes and Ramya in the film Just Math Maathalli, Agni Shridhar opposing the State award going to Gulabi Talkies, Director Prem registering a complaint against overseas distributor Kiran for not being able to release Raaj worldwide simultaneously. But topping the list was the slapping accusation Aindrita Ray made against Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar.  
 

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